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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


GymCats take down No. 15 California, win first Pac-12 meet

Tom Price

Arizona gymnast Kennady Schneider performs her floor routine on Feb. 27, 2016 in McKale Center.

The Arizona women’s gymnastics team brought the heat during their annual “Pink Meet” Friday night as they set a season high defeating No. 15 California 196.100 to 195.325.

Arizona came out strong in the first rotation on vault as senior Selynna Felix-Terrazas made her debut after being out for three meets due to two ankle injuries. Felix-Terrazas gained height in her vault with a slight step on the landing earning a score of 9.725.

“It felt amazing being back out there,” Felix-Terrazas said. “I just wanted to do what I’ve been doing in the gym and just thinking about from my past experiences that I could do it and do what I normally do.”

Sophomore Lauryn Mattson continued the momentum getting high off the vault earning a 9.825 followed by sophomore Skyler Sheppard’s 9.875. Freshman Jenny Leung and anchor Heather Swanson helped the Cats’ take the lead early with Leung earning 9.825 followed by Swanson who finished the rotation with a 9.875.

The GymCats second rotation on the uneven bars continues to be Arizona’s strongest event. Senior captain Krysten Howard started off the rotation performing a piked jaeger ending with an “Arizona Stick” scoring a 9.875.

Senior Gabrielle Laub and junior Victoria Ortiz scored 9.900 on the uneven bars; two pivotal routines for the Wildcats. Laub performed her routine on bars ending her double layout dismount with an “Arizona Stick” earning her a season-high of 9.900. Ortiz flew into the air on her Tkatchev and ended with an “Arizona Stick” earning her a high score of 9.900.

“There was moments of brilliance,” said Arizona head coach Tabitha Yim. “We started off really strong and you could feel the momentum building through the bar lineup.”

The third rotation on beam continues to be a weakness for the GymCats, but Howard stepped up sticking her back tuck and ending with an “Arizona Stick” to set a season high, and tying her career high, with a 9.875.

Going into the fourth and final rotation, the Wildcats held a slight lead over the Bears who trailed by only .500 of a point.

The GymCats sealed their victory starting with Mattson landing a double pike and finishing strong with her double back tuck scoring a 9.850. Sheppard had a solid routine as she landed her triple full and double full punch front earning a 9.875.

Kennady Schneider brought her tumbling skills to the floor as she landed almost every earning her a season and career-high of 9.925.

“Tonight I knew what I needed to do to get the score that we needed to win,” Schneider said. “I kind of don’t want to be known as just the dancer anymore. I want to be known as the girl who can tumble great and still put on a performance and I think I showed everyone that tonight.”

With Schneider’s high score, the Wildcats took the win over the Bears 196.100 to 195.325.

“We entered floor with one of our highest team totals after three events,” Yim said. “It took a lot of grit and a lot of heart to finish off the way that they did.”

The GymCats will be hitting the road to take on the Washington Huskies on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. MST in Seattle. The meet will be aired on Pac-12 Networks.

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